Review: Yakima GateKeeper Pad

When it comes to running bike shuttles, you see some creative options out there: tires sticking out the window, bikes ratchet-strapped to the roof, piled high in the bed of a pickup—if you can think it, someone’s done it. But what if there was an easier way to go about it? One that was a little more gentle on the bikes, too. That’s where the Yakima GateKeeper Truck Bed Tailgate Pad comes into play. This rugged, tarpaulin-coated pad slides over a tailgate, providing secure storage for up to five bikes. Not only does it prevent the bikes from touching each other, but it also has padded webbing straps to lock them in place and prevent paint chipping on your aluminum or carbon stallion. The bottom side of the pad is also a soft, felt-like material, so it won’t scratch your truck’s paint, either.

Best part about the pad, though, is that you can leave it on your truck all summer. With no bikes loaded on, a flap on the back pops up, giving you easy access to the tailgate handle, and a clear lane of vision for your backup camera. On the whole, it’s a relatively inexpensive solution for carrying a whole handful of bikes, without a six-bike rack bouncing around behind your car.

The pad comes in medium and large sizes to fit just about any tailgate. $179 for medium, $199 for large; available at